One of the largest frozen pizza manufacturers in the U.S. worked with Grote Company to increase production in order to keep up with the booming domestic market, which is expected to double by 2028according to a market analysis by research firm IMARC. 

 The company needed to increase production and uptime while significantly reducing product loss and maintaining high quality. Cheese was their highest-cost ingredient and most significant source of waste. They turned to Grote Company for their pizza topping equipment.

To produce more pizzas, the company sought longer production runs, which meant equipment would need to operate reliably with no unplanned downtime. Another challenge it faced was product loss.

A considerable amount of a key ingredient – cheese – was being lost because it ended up on the floor. This waste cost the company hundreds of thousands of dollars annually.

In addition, the manufacturer strived for higher quality of the finished product, requiring less rework and yield loss, resulting in pizzas that looked appealing in retail displays.

The Solution

Grote’s Waterfall Topping Applicator met the challenge perfectly. The applicator provides accurate cheese and IQF topping distribution and weights with less than 1% floor waste. The applicator allows for more effective control of the production process by monitoring product weight and automatically adjusting conveyor speed to maintain consistent, accurate flow. Recipe-driven, automatic machine adjustments allow for efficient, accurate application.

Its pyramid frame and compact footprint made it an ideal piece of equipment for the manufacturer’s busy production floor.

The manufacturer’s in-plant performance data bears out the results:  

  • With average floor waste now less than 1% per day, the applicator’s pyramid belt frame improved yield while significantly reducing clean-up and costs.
  • Downtime was reduced to .75% in mechanical minutes over 12 months and 256 shift days.
  • The time between sanitation cycles was reduced, with equipment running for 96 hours between cycles. Sanitation time was cut to an average of just 1.5 hours per cleaning cycle due to the applicator's tool-less removable belts and guarding.
  • Weight distribution accuracy was improved to 99.99% left to right with two to three lanes (+/- 5-15% from mean – deposit weight accuracy for cheese; +/- 15-20% from mean – deposit weight accuracy – IQF). The machine’s uniform product application and deposit weight accuracy are based on its load cell technology, which weighs the product bed and adjusts belt speed.

This long-time customer looks to Grote Company as a collaborator to help it plan for future developments. The two work together to help enhance and extend the life of the manufacturer’s current machines through health assessments, preventative maintenance, and modifications and upgrades to existing equipment.